The Dawn of Indie Label Music in Indonesia

Taufiq who used to enforce the Jakartabeat site with Philips Vermonte, creating Elevation in 2013. His motivation is not far contrary to Ucok: releasing albums he likes. Since now, Elevation has re-released the band’s first folk-baroque album from Yogyakarta, Aurette and The Polsa Seeking Carnival; Sajama Cut album; relaunching the Homicide album, until the re-release of Bandempo’s album.

By 2015, Hobgoblin’s Sajama Cut album is number three on the Rolling Stone Top 10 album charts. Of course it’s an interesting affair, because it’s beating major labels like Sony or Musica. There are not a few new label names in that arrangement. Start Music Factory (standing 2006 and becoming KFC album release dealer), News Space Records (standing in 2015), to Moso’iki Records standing in 2015 and releasing the album of Dosa, City, & Memories of the folk duo of Silampukau which was greeted very well by public.

“You know, the music business is in big trouble when a small indie label can be in front of a big corporate label!” Hats off Sajama Cut for a devastating, Hobgoblin, without any pretense, “Elevation Records wrote on their Facebook page.

What is written is not a bit true. We in Indonesia do not often hear discordant and discouraged voice about record labels, how they are trained because of piracy and have not been able to ride the digital wave in the music industry.

White Shoes & Couple Company
White Shoes & Couple Company

Based on information from Wendi Putranto in his book, Rolling Stone Music Biz, Recording Industry Association of Indonesia (ASIRI) is a representation for 80 percent of the music market in Indonesia. When the book was created in 2010, the record label remained for 83 companies. But in 2012, ASIRI recites that the moment left only 76 record labels of 240 registered members. Piracy and invalidity of their physical releases created one by one record label collapsed. What remains is the big names like Musica, Universal Music Indonesia, and SonyBMG Music Entertainment Indonesia.

Even so, Taufiq looked at the record label will still remain relevant. With a note: niche labels. Or arguably, indie labels with fun motivation and working on a small but loyal niche of consumers. He alluded to the name Grimloc as the label “… which each release will be not rare times I buy.” At the very least, the label will create concentration musicians take care about the music. Beyond that, the label will take care of it.

While the big label felt Taufiq has no longer be as big as before. In other words: although they still get a bit of money from the streaming business, they are increasingly irrelevant in aesthetic fashion.

“So they are busy unloading old catalogs and re-releasing this.For the new music, there is yes on the indie label,” said Taufiq.

Indie label like Taufiq is not going to be as big as a giant record label. But small labels like this have loyal fans. When Elevation released the Nine Tomb and Godzkilla Necronometry cassettes of 1,000 pieces of Homicide in 2015, the album went on sale in just 6 hours.

When the big label constrains selling physical albums, small bands like Elevation are overwhelmed because too few buyers. But it is a label like Elevation or Grimloc not hunting quantity releases, and not also a giant. They merely release the album that likes, any aesthetically in accordance with the vision of the label.

“We are relaxed, if there is a good release, if not there is no need to be forced,” said Taufiq.

Trent Raznor is very attached to his interesting behavior, especially his attitude to the record label. The founder of the Nine Inch Nails (NIN) rock band has a fairly long history of controversy with record labels. In 2007, after the release of the fifth album Zero, NIN concluded to part with Interscope Records, a record company owned by Universal Music Group. This label that overshadowed NIN since its debut album, Pretty Hate Machine (1989).

“I have been recording contracts for about 18 years and have watched how the music business has changed radically, a change that makes me glad that I can have a direct relationship with my fans because I think it is more appropriate and profitable,” Trent wrote on the official website. NIN.

One of the cornerstones of the problem, among others, is that Trent is annoyed to see how record labels put prices for music albums. In Australia, the Year Zero album is marketed at a price of almost 30 dollars (Rp377 thousand), a price that Trent says is “absurd.” In a concert in the land of Kangaroos, Trent encouraged his fans to celebrate the culture of so many files. “Just steal our album, then share it with your friends,” he said.

Trent does not mess about the concept of sharing this file. In the next album, Ghost I-IV (2008), NIN spends a wide selection of techniques to get this album. Start downloading for free with Creative Commons licenses, up to include some pricing options. Includes Ultra Deluxe Limited Edition package priced at 300 dollars.

Album Ghost I-IV was launched via The Null Corporation, a record label founded by Trent in 2008. This label released the work of NIN and How to Destroy Angels, an experimental band that was fronted by Trent and his wife Mariqueen Maandig. On the seventh album, The Slip (2008), NIN was still menggratiskan album. Trent instead mentions a short message, “This is my treat.” Two months later, there were physical releases printed in limited numbers.

Although in 2013 NIN released Hesitation Mark albums through the Columbia label, it’s still Trent’s unique attitude to follow, or imitated by other bands. Attitudes that perceive the circulation of the work can be self-made, self-regulated, there is also a fund-raising technique that is more profitable for bands and fans. One way is to create your own record label.

“I miss record labels that can tell the world about your work,” he said when asked among the motivations of creating his own record label.

Relevance of Record Label in the Digital Age
What Trent does is not a new affair in the music world. Underground musicians are familiar with the Do It Yourself ethos (DIY), to reflect all the activities that are carried out on their own. Starting from recording songs, creating packaging, to circulate it. Trent thumbs up because it is considered successful injecting the idea into the music industry smeared capitalistic image.

What motivates Trent to create record labels is also followed by not a few people who want to create their own record labels. Most of them do not dig huge profits ala a giant label. They just want to have fun, create songs without the label set, and release their own albums that will not be glimpsed big labels.

In an interview with Cobra Magazine, Morgue Vanguard recounts the proposition why he enforced the Grimloc Records label. The man has the real name Herry “Ucok” This Sutresna uphold Grimloc with his friend, The style of hip hop group Eyefeelsix, in 2011.

“The main reason to enforce the label? Yes, especially because of the need to release our own album, which of course .. In the day can ngerilis albums of friends you like, the bonus,” said Ucok who ispersonel Homicide and Bars of Death.

The Grimloc release catalog is impressive. Starting the re-release of the classic album Homicide, a punk album of Cockroach Militia, a hardcore band WETHEPEOPLE !, to release a punk / hardcore band from Bandung, Hark! It’s A Crawling Tartar. Of course not much difficult to want such bands will be launched by major labels.

Technological advances in recording and social media have created the creation of music albums much easier. At least musicians now have fewer options to circulate his work. No need to release albums past major labels.

Recording albums is even easier thanks to a variety of soft devices that can be used anywhere. Even in the rest room though, it produces the term bedroom music, aka music created in the room. A kind of proof of Noel Gallagher’s prophecy in the song “Do not Look Back In Anger”, that revolution can be done from the room. Some names of world-known room musicians are Washed Out, Perfume Genius, and Toro Y Moi. In Indonesia, among the room’s musicians is Adithia Sofyan whose name is known thanks to the song “Adelaide Sky”.

In a video that he uploaded on May 21, 2009, Adithia recording tool looks simple. Acoustic guitars, microphones, pop filters (a tool for filtering noise in recording, commonly placed by one singer and microphone), headset, and video camera. From his room, Adhitia’s name rose. The songs recorded in the room were then launched in the EP format entitled Live from His Bedroom containing 5 songs. So far Adhitia has released 3 full albums, and had a tour in Japan.

The presence of social media also does little to help today’s musicians. Starting from Facebook, Instagram, to Soundcloud, creating musicians more easily spread the work, concerned with fans, or submit announcements in connection with the band.

Well-established musicians and artists compete to create their own record labels. They have understood the business field of music, therefore not afraid to start his own label. In addition to Morgue Vanguard and Grimloc Records, there is also the name Shaggy Dog who created Doggyhouse Records, DJ Riri who created Spinach Records, until GRIBS created Kelud Records because there is no Indonesian label that wants to release a glam rock band album like them.

At this point, it is commonplace if not a few people ask: is the label still relevant in an age that is all self-made?

“Label is increasingly marginalized, people probably do not know what label overshadow Rihanna or Justin Bieber because the artist is bigger than the label,” said Taufiq Rahman, founder of Elevation Record. “In addition, artists or bands are now able to cut the role that used to be labeled.”